Friday, October 26, 2007

WGA Strike, A Benefit For The Flyovers

They can say what they want, but the truth will out. The landscape has change since the last writers strike. In those long ago days, there wasn’t an Internet, 2,000 plus film schools around the country, an international pool of talent that speaks multiple languages. We might be seeing the crumbling of the Hollywood empire.

Those who have looked down upon the ‘flyover states’ now have cause for concern. Let’s explore the changes in nature and work environments.

If the global warming scenario continues, then LA and other coastal areas will be under duress to continue filming and TV work. Look at the current situation with the wildfires in LA. Stars leaving their homes, TV and movie productions halted, the ever present threat of earthquakes. What are they going to do if the ocean starts to swamp their beach houses? It doesn’t take a genius to understand why many people from the coastal areas have relocated here, in middle America.

When it comes to the work environment, the WGA and the writers have been living in a cocoon, a nice tranquil world of big names and fancy dinners. Let’s not forget those backpats at the awards shows. The ego-feeders will find out all about the bottom feeders who will eat their lunch and steal their jobs. Unlike the movies, real life can be real serious, without a happy ending.

In my experiences with Hollywood, I’ve found out that as much as they would like the world to think that they are ‘leading, bleeding edge’ adventurers, they really are pretty much stuck in a rut. Notice the same-old, same-old when it comes to movie themes and TV shows. Rip-offs of foreign TV and movies is now greater than ever. If Americans knew how much of their TV and movie fare came from outside sources, they might be shocked. I doubt that they really care. All they want is something that’s interesting and entertaining. Which they now find on the Internet.

Those with a clue can see where this is going. You might consider looking back to see what lies ahead. In the really old days in Hollywood, they cranked out two to four films a month, per studio. They weren’t epics, which came along to fill movie seats for long times and more popcorn/soda money for the movie house. Which was part of a chain owned by the studios. Now, many people don’t leave the house for the local movie palace to take in the latest flick.

Everyone has a two minute attention span. In writing, essays were supplemented by newspaper columns, are being augmented by blogs. Plays were supplemented by movies, which gave ground to TV, which is now seeing the impact of the Internet.

The key factor in all of this is that they diversified, yet increased the audience base. It also resulted in a general depreciation of content. Fast food people want short order entertainment. Something they can watch and digest in less time than it takes to read this blog.

Sooner or later, everything gets destroyed so that it can be recreated in a new form. Why should Hollywood be immune?

After all, the movie business started in New Jersey. Then moved to California because the cameras and other equipment were too fragile to use outside except in perfect weather. Now anyone can shoot anywhere, at any time and put it up online.

Goodnight Hollywood, it’s been a wonderful dream.

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